Profile and Department: Senior Scientist, Dixon Family Chair in Ophthalmology, Sunnybrook Research Institute
The focus of my research is on the specification of neural cell fates and the control of tissue morphogenesis in the developing central nervous system (CNS). For the most part my lab focuses on two regions of the CNS – the developing retina and neocortex. We are particularly interested in understanding how transcription factor networks specify neural cell fates, with an emphasis on the proneural basic-helix-loop-helix and Plag family zinc finger transcription factors. We also study the role of the signalling molecule Pten in retinal tissue morphogenesis. More recently we have begun to apply our knowledge of neural development to understand the injury response, to mobilize endogenous stem cells for tissue repair, and to develop lineage conversion strategies for neural cell replacement therapies.